14:41 GMT30 October 2020
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    The Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe's (OSCE) observers witnessed increased transparency in parliamentary elections in Russia, although legal restrictions and other issues remain, OSCE Parliamentary Assembly President Emeritus Ilkka Kanerva said Monday.

    MOSCOW (Sputnik) – On Sunday, the Russians cast their ballots to elect the State Duma, the lower house of the country’s parliament. Kanerva was the head of the OSCE group observing the elections.

    In noting the increased transparency and trust of the Sunday poll, Kanerva told reporters of remaining legal restrictions, adding that Russia needs to give greater freedom to civil discourse and activism to fulfill its democratic obligations.

    He added that the process of political parties' registration in Russia had been eased, but it had not resulted in "creation of political alternative" yet.

    With almost all ballots counted, the governing United Russia is leading in the elections with 54.18 percent of the votes. The Communist Party gained 13.35 percent of the votes, the Liberal Democrats party has 13.16 percent, while A Just Russia won 6.21 percent.

    Turnout at the elections was estimated by Russia's Central Election Commission at 47.78 percent.

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    Tags:
    parliamentary elections, OSCE, Ilkka Kanerva, Russia
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